The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Zero Hunger is set to meet this month to discuss the government’s ultimate goal of eradicating hunger and achieving food security in the country, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.
Nograles said this is the first time the member-agencies of IATF on Zero Hunger will meet since President Rodrigo Duterte created the body through Executive Order (EO) 101 inked on January 10.
The Palace official, however, did not mention the date of the upcoming meeting.
“The first big meeting ng (of the) task force on Zero Hunger will happen this month also,” said the chair of the IATF on Zero Hunger.
“We will be identifying the different measurables, the different deliverables, the targets, the outcomes, the indicators.”
“We will be identifying the different measurables, the different deliverables, the targets, the outcomes, the indicators. Para meron tayong mga target (We will do that so we will have targets) per year all the way up to year 2022,” he added.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that around 5.2 percent or 5.5 million Filipinos were unable to meet their basic food needs in 2018 due to inadequate income.
The figure, however, was lower compared to 9.2 percent reported by the PSA in 2015.
By virtue of EO 101, the IATF on Zero Hunger has been tasked to ensure that government policies, initiatives, and projects on attaining zero hunger will be “coordinated, responsive, and effective.”
Member-agencies of the task force include the departments on Social Welfare, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Budget, Education, Environment, Health, Labor, Local Government, Trade, and Science; Presidential Communications Operations Office; National Economic and Development Authority; and the Commission on Higher Education.
Nograles said the scheduled meeting among members of IATF on Zero Hunger would also pave the way for the creation of a technical working group that will take a comprehensive plan on the implementation of National Food Policy (NFP).
“We will be forming the technical working group to map out already the national food policy roadmap.”
“We will already be forming the technical working group to map out already the national food policy roadmap,” he said.
The NFP, according to EO 101, will outline national priorities based on a comprehensive understanding of the problem of hunger and related issues.
The NFP, which will also provide a roadmap for achieving zero hunger, should include initiatives to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Apart from the NFP, a memorandum of understanding on the implementation of the Enhanced Partnership against Hunger and Poverty (EPAPH) program was also signed in December 2019.
The EPAPH includes provisions for the institutional feeding programs; credit support to community-based organizations; and capacity-building and productivity improvement for community-based organizations.
The EPAPH also pushes for nutrition education; establishment of agricultural facilities and technologies, food hubs, and other infrastructure facilities; mobilization of funding, technical and research assistance from development local partners; and advocacy and education.
He stressed there would be launching of EPAPH in all regions to meet the government’s goal to free more Filipinos from hunger.
Nograles said around 32 provinces with high hunger incidence will be given “special attention” to reduce hunger by 25 percent when President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022.